A high-ranking officer with the Iraq Army was the reported source for a highly contested claim – most likely Daesh propaganda – that French aircraft had bombed a school in Mosul, allegedly killing 28 pupils.
According to German news agency DPA, Brigadier-General Thanon Sabawi from the Second Division of the Iraqi Army claimed that “French aircraft today bombed Fatima Zahra Primary School in the eastern area of Mosul, in Zuhoor region, killing 28 pupils and wounding five others.”
The explosive claim led Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam to condemn France: “This French military operation that targeted innocent civilians, children, is a mark of shame on France. It is no less abhorrent than the way terrorist organisations target innocents.”
The Nineveh Reporters Network challenged the claimed attack, insisting that ‘there has been no Coalition strike in Mosul for the past three days.’ MNB also described the claim as Daesh propaganda, while an Iraqi official told Shafaaq there was “no truth as reported by some media about the killing of a number of pupils in an aerial bombardment of a primary school by French aircraft.”
France subsequently confirmed that its aircraft had carried out a 9.30pm airstrike near Mosul the evening before, on November 24th, telling Middle East Eye that “At 19:30 French time [21:30 local time] four Rafale fighter jets from an aircraft carrier stationed in the eastern Mediterranean, along with some US aircraft, dropped 20 bombs on an IS command centre“ at nearby Tal Afar.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (14) [ collapse]
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Original strike reports
For November 25th-26th 2015, the Coalition reported that “Near Mosul, five strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL checkpoint and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL building.”